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  • Created 15 Jan 2014

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This community is a place to share information on teaching nanoscience to middle school students. Resources on nanoHUB that are geared towards middle school students will be highlighted, and links provided to good material outside nanoHUB.

Within this group, community members can communicate with one another via email, the discussion board and blog. The discussion board may be a good place to talk about particular lesson plans or ways that other teachers approach certain concepts, for example.

You can post notices for events on the group calendar and collaborate on projects with other members. You can also share items through the wiki pages. Within a wiki page, you can have text, upload files and images, and have links to material on the web. Wiki pages can be set up so that any group member can edit a page, or you can specify that only you as the page author can edit the page you create. Wiki pages may be a good way to share your nanoscience lesson plans.


This group contains the following:

Middle School Simulation Tools

Molecular Workbench— An Interface to the Molecular World

By Charles Xie
The Molecular Workbench software is a free, open-source modeling and authoring program specifically designed for use in science education. Powered by a set of real-time molecular simulation engines that compute and visualize the motion of particles interacting through force fields, in both 2D and 3D, it provides a simulation platform for teaching and learning science through atomic-scale reasoning. Many important concepts in physics, chemistry and biology that are otherwise too abstract to understand can be visualized with dynamical and interactive simulations. You can also find out some existing activities at the MOLO and MOLIT curriculum databases.

Middle School Resources on nanoHUB

Dragonfly TV Nano – Using the Power of Television to Introduce Middle School Children to Nanotechnology

“DragonflyTV Nano” is the first television science series to explore this challenging subject area. Based in recent research into how to teach basic concepts in nanoscience at the middle-school level, the series follows a designed scope and sequence.

Using nanoHUB to Introduce Middle School Students to Models and Simulations

Purdue University (2014)
Instructions for an activity that combines the use of physical models and the Crystal Viewer Simulation tool to make models and simulations more accessible to middle school students.

Instructions for making carbon nanostructure models using crystal viewer tool

These are step-by-step instructions for creating simulations of carbon nanostructures like bucky balls, carbon nanotubes and graphene sheets.

What is nanoscience?

NEATEC and Trinity College Module 1
NEATEC Learning Modules include topics on Nanotechnology, Semiconductors, Photovoltaic, Alternate Energy, Mathematics, General Science and Technology.


NEATEC and Trinity College Module 2
NEATEC Learning Modules include topics on Nanotechnology, Semiconductors, Photovoltaic, Alternate Energy, Mathematics, General Science and Technology.

Thin Films

NEATEC and Trinity College Module
In this activity students will learn the correlation between color wavelengths and measurement. They will effectively learn how to solve real-world and mathematical problems involving volume of spheres.

K-12— Introduction to Quantum Wells

Taught by David Beck and Mark M Budnik
A lesson plan for a 20-30 minute exercise for 4th and 5th grade Gifted and Talented students to explore the concept of quantum wells.

Middle School Resources on the Web

Dragonfly TV nano

Dragonfly TV Nano is a show developed by PBS that shows middle school students engage in inquiry to learn about nanoscalescience and technology. The students explore, ask questions, visit science museums and talk to graduate students and professors doing nanoscale research. In addition to the videos, there are activities and other material available in the teacher’s guide. This program starts from the beginning—what is nano and why is it important? All the way through exploring some of the environmental concerns that may be remediated by nanotechnology, and some issues we should be aware of when considering the risks and benefits of nanotechnology.

DragonFly TV Nano Teacher’s Guide

A resource for teachers that includes show descriptions and downloadable educator guides.

Nano Nerds

Nano Nerds is The Museum of Science, Boston’s YouTube Channel on Nanoscale Science

Nano Zone

The Nano Zone is a fun and educational website developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley where you can learn about nanotechnology. Play games, watch videos, see Small stuff, Look into the Nano Future, Meet a Scientist, Ask Questions and Do it Yourself!

NACK Network

Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) Network Provides Educator Resources including introductory material that is appropriate for middle school. Browse their Educator Resources and look at the Introductory Level Modules and Activities.

NISE Network K-12 Resources

Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network has lots of material for educators. The site is for students and parents.

NNIN Outreach Demonstration Guide

This guide contains 14 demonstration activities.

NNIN guide for K-12 Teachers

This is a central resource for information on Nanotechnology and how to integrate it into classroom activities.


SHINE is Seattle’s hub for industry-driven nanotechnology. You can find educational resources in the section for Educators.

Includes: Introduction to Nanotechnology, NanoDays, NanoBuzz, Nano Exhibition, K-12Teacher Resources, Videos, Games, Products and Society, DIY Nano App. en Español

Resources that Address the Size and Scale of Nano

The Scale of Things – Nanometers and More

Downloadable image developed by the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, that depicts the scale of natural and man-made items.

Ratio of Surface Area to Volume

NNIN Website for middle/ high school

This lab is designed to help students understand how nanoparticles may be more effective catalysts by investigating how the surface area-to-volume ratio of a substance is affected as its shape changes. Resources include a Teacher’s Preparatory Guide, Part 1, Part 2 as well as a Student Worksheet and Guide, Part 1 and Part 2 .

NNIN Website for elementary school

The purpose of this lesson is to help elementary students extend their knowledge of area, perimeter, and volume to include surface area. Resources include a Teacher’s Preparatory Guide as well as a Student Worksheet .

Mentos and Diet Coke Experiments

YouTube Video (2:57)

Mythbuster’s Coffee Creamer Explosion

YouTube Video (2:38), a resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.